A Christian campus chapel at Wichita State University (WSU) was stripped of its pews and the altar and replaced by Muslim prayer rugs.
University officials’ have decided to make the chapel “faith neutral,”Christian Today reported.
WSU President John Bardo in a statement said his adminstration decided to convert the chapel into a facility “welcoming to all religious groups on campus.”
University administrators ordered workers to remove all the pews and the altar inside the Harvey D. Grace Memorial Chapel last May and Muslim prayer rugs and some portable chairs were then brought inside.
The changes were in compliance with the wishes of the chapel’s benefactor, Mrs. Harvey D. Grace, who in her last will wrote that “this chapel will be open to all creeds and to all races of people,” Bardo said.
An estimated 15,000 of the university’s students are Christians and about 1,000 are Muslims.
The Christian cleansing of the chapel has outraged the school’s majority Christian population and many are protesters to urge the university administrators not to deprive its majority Christian student population of their religious rights.
President Bardo, acquiescing to the demands of the school’s Christian students, recently ordered a committee to be formed to study possible changes in the facility and wrote, in a public statement posted on WSU’s website, that he doesn’t think the “change was undertaken with enough consideration of the feelings of all elements of the campus and broader community.”
Muslim students, now in control of the facility, contend that the outrage on campus is indicative of the “Islamophobia,” or prejudice against Muslims and are organizing to assert their control of the facility.
They recently created a petition, published in Wichita State University’s student-run news source The Sunflower, calling for the university to install Islamic-friendly plumbing—specifically, handheld bidets in restrooms around the campus.
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